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MMORPGs: The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Stupid.

There seems to always be something going on in the world of MMORPGs, whether it's news, developments, or player goings-on.

Author: brihtwulf

Why do Asian MMOs keep popping up on a seemingly weekly basis?

Posted by brihtwulf Tuesday April 7 2009 at 6:43PM
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 Where is all this garbage coming from???

Every day I visit MMORPG.com for my MMO news and additional filler to my constant craving for all that is online computer gaming and RPGs.  I enjoy the up-to-date news and articles, the rumor mill, contests, and many other features present on the site.  As I said, I love MMOs in general.  I've played nearly every released MMORPG since 1999, and was a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) addict prior to that.  But there is one thing I just can't take anymore...  The unrelenting flood of Asian grind-fest clone games that sickeningly penetrates our market.

I know there are some people who enjoy games with a more Asian style and design.  There are even people who will play the game because they adore everything Asian.  Then you have people that find a sort of comfort in the "grind" factor.  These people enjoy mindlessly plugging away at 10,000 floating eyeballs in a field for hours on end to attain their goal.  While I don't fit into this category, I can see that some do find enjoyment in it.  But how many games of this type need to exist to fill that need?  On this site alone, there are dozens of this Asian grind-style game clogging up the game list.  If I had my druthers, they would be wiped away as the worthless clutter they represent.

There are perhaps a couple games which deserve their place as legitimate members of the MMO genre, despite their thematically Asian nature.  I have to give credit mostly to games like Lineage 2, and perhaps even Archlord.  I consider these games set apart from my previously described garbage heaps because they have many more features, content, and overall depth.  So, before anyone decides do crucify me for my MMO-racist views, I don't hate ALL of them.

I believe that these games exist solely because they appeal mostly to immature kiddies who can't afford to pay for a real MMORPG, and couldn't convince mommy and daddy to use their credit card.  Then you have the kids who, while they can't pay for a subscription, can still occasionally weasel enough money out of their parents for the cash shop so they can buy their way to the top instead of earning it through gameplay or skill.  Lastly, you get the "adults" who don't have the maturity, patience, or ability to play a game and earn their way up the player ladder.  So they find it simpler to pay $100 and become the "uber elite dood" who can gank all the newbs he wants without having to actually accomplish anything.  Without said people, these games wouldn't be worthy of a $10 purchase price, let alone any sort of subscription or fees.

For new players, or those new to the genre, this becomes even more of an annoyance and hinderance to finding the right game.  Having to look through lists of hundreds of games can be frustrating and time-consuming.  Take into account that a multitude of them are this copycat 4-class, no customization, grind-heavy, gankfest and it can start to turn people away from the genre entirely.  These cheaply-produced copycat games only serve to lure people in with their claims of "free play", while really trying to milk the players out of as much quick money as possible up front.  Those games rarely offer updates, and have become infamous for their rock-bottom customer service.  It's more of a scam than a game.

My suggestions:

1.  REMOVE the games from sites like MMORPG.com and other mainstream MMO sites. ... OR ...

2.  Make it possible for users to customize their content with geographic filters.

... Because before long, there are going to be 1000+ of these filler games, and the REAL ones are going to get lost in the landfill. 

MadnessRealm writes:

I think the answer is pretty easy. People see something popular and try to copy it to make as much money as the popular company. But this doesn't only  apply to MMOs.....pretty much everything in our life works this way. Take music for exemple, after "Simple Plan" got popular, many bands tried to copy them. This is a really bad exemple as, let's be honest, Simple Plan sucks, but if I named Finntroll or Dimmu Borgir, I doubt many people would know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I completly agree with you that it's more of a scam than a game. Problem is that the market is slowly turning from P2P service to a F2P service, which is quite sad.  One thing I noticed as many other players is that the Westerner F2P market is way more balanced than Eastern F2P market in terms of cash shop content. Most Eastern MMOs will offer items that will greatly increase a player's ability while Westerners will simply allow players to buy items that can also be dropped in the game so it doesn't create any sort of imbalancement.

I also agree that they keep shitting MMOs every 2 seconds which is quite annoying but what can we do aside from not playing them? Best thing to do is to stick with popular games which doesn't really create an imbalance between cash shop user and non-user (P2P games, few F2P such as Mabinogi etc)

Anyway, nice first blog.

Tue Apr 07 2009 8:58PM Report
brownspank writes:

It shouldn't matter that a new MMO comes out of the bubble gum factory every week. If you're not forced to play it, then it shouldn't be a problem. If enough people agree with you that a certain game sucks, then that game probably won't make a dent in {your favorite game}'s subscriber base.

There will still be people who will play every new MMO that comes out (I know quite a few who do, and it is for this reason that MMORPG.com's list is what it is), but as long as their game doesn't piss in my game's cereal (talk about bad analogies), I couldn't care less.

Wed Apr 08 2009 3:17AM Report
frazzyuk writes:

I agree inpart to your comments but i am one of those  sad people who try every new mmo and thoroughly enjoy doing so. Nobody could deny that most turn out to be total dissapointments but every now and again I find a game that makes me glim with excitement and nobody else gets any where near the pc.

Thankfully  though it is  because of all the garbage(and there not all asian) there are brilliantly clever game makers in the mmo  market  that work for years researching and designing  the gaming experience we all love and desire and thank god for them .

Wed Apr 08 2009 5:39AM Report
MadnessRealm writes:

I also try every new MMOs but they are some I won't even bother trying. Take for exemple "The Warlords", it's another copy of Eudemons/Conquer 2.0 and those games are filled with issues too. But as for other games I try to test them all but sadly never found one that got my attention aside from a few (Mabinogi, Atlantica, etc).

As for brillant game makers, they are very few asians (maker of Mabinogi and Atlantica, again) as for more....Westerners, a lot of game we have made ended up really popular (should I name them all?) Even companies like Ankama Games with their game Dofus did a pretty good job. Fact remains that they are a very small minority sadly as not a lot of companies tries to bring something new to the market.

Wed Apr 08 2009 6:01AM Report
epshot writes:

Many of the games are probably all made by the same developers, or sister developers etc. You have to keep in mind that asians are the ultimate gold farmers. The smarter ones instead of gold farming make their own games with addictive gameplay so they can suck rich white people in to buy 50% increased xp scrolls from their item shops.

It's gold farming at it's most complex. And you're right, the games generally do suck.

Wed Apr 08 2009 9:53AM Report
Coldrain_13 writes:

Dude, there are some American and other Ethnic grindfest games as well. That being the only fault with this blog, I agree. This market is becoming flooded and it is hard for players to find what they came looking for. There hasn't been a decent sci-fi MMO in years. SwG was king of the mountain untill it's mishap. EvE seems to be the reigning king now(no problem with EvE I enjoyed it).

Wed Apr 08 2009 10:32AM Report
kawlkja writes:

@Brownspank

"2. Make it possible for users to customize their content with geographic filters."

His second suggestion answered your question. While having these asian clone games on the site is fine. It can only go so far. Click on the Game List tab. More then half of those games are trash. Being able to select games you want displayed as suggestion two stated, would fix the problem.

Wed Apr 08 2009 4:16PM Report
joeyboots writes:

I am tired of the weekly grinders coming out lately, but I must say ROM was actually very good for what it is, although not my cup of tea.

Thu Apr 09 2009 12:47PM Report
OddjobXL writes:

As long as they're buying advertising space here don't expect the coverage to go away.

Thu Apr 09 2009 1:36PM Report
Rikimaru_X writes:

The asian gaming industry is more geared to MMO's than the us and by "Asian", that space covers far more than the US and Canada put together. Philipines, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc.

Fri Apr 10 2009 1:34PM Report
Ephimero writes:

They must be getting their revenue if they keep launching titles, don't you think? I don't like those F2P cash shop games, but well, they have their audience, and they are in no way interfering with me as long as I don't play them, so I can't see what's so wrong in them.

Sat Apr 11 2009 3:14AM Report
NasherUK writes:

I agree, asian WoW clones are coming out are rediculus rates and they are all absolute crap.

Sat Apr 11 2009 10:17AM Report
aleos writes:

I wonder how many asian babys are born in a day.

Sat Apr 11 2009 1:16PM Report
Rabidaskal writes:

Agree with your post overall, but I'd just like to point out that a good number of asian grindfests are brought to you by western publishers, who buy the distribution rights and bring them over.  It is also their fault mostly for the crap customer service and lousy translations.  The asian companies just make the game, the western publishers inflict them on the western world.

Sun Apr 12 2009 11:32AM Report
sappfe writes:

Isn't easier to just ignore them. There are a few good games from Asia, you'll just have to get used to siphoning out the good from the bad. Try something if you will, if it sucks then get rid of it. I myself will try something, if the download size wont take more than an hour, if I don't like it from first impressions I get rid of it otherwise I would it further and see what it is like. However, as with any game that have level progression there is always a form of grind expected and I simply prefer a game that will allow me to access everything in the 6Gb install anytime I want to.

It is a good idea, also, to only actually try games from notable companies not just any strange company that pops out of nowhere.

Sun Apr 12 2009 9:43PM Report
dentin writes:

I totally understand where you're coming from, having played and run MUDs myself.  I think MUD history has a lot to show us here; in the late 1990's the same issues were happening with MUDs.  Every week another dozen new games sprouted up, and by the end of the week half a dozen old games were abandoned and failed.

These asian games are growing strong and hard on borrowed time and money.  When they fail to produce revenue due to bad quality, they will disappear.  Unfortunately, their huge advertising budgets will irritate and annoy until then.

Mon Apr 13 2009 10:35AM Report
Kiskara writes:

I think all the F2P games have such an appeal, for the moment, is that so many people are strapped for cash these days. In most of these games, you'll see people talking about how much they love another subscription game - but they just can't afford to play at the time.

Mon Apr 13 2009 5:32PM Report
bigdaddysfe writes:

You will probably continue to see them since they are cheap to make, cheap to license and in almost all the cases they are set up on the F2P cash shop system which as games like Maple Story and others have shown have a huge profit ratio as opposed to other P2P model games which are generally far more expensive to produce and maintain.

A vast majority of these games you wouldn't buy at the bargain bin if you saw them being sold as a stand alone comp game, but you add in some chat, pets and a ranking system and all of a sudden you have people spending thousands on these games. 

Personally I have played several of these games and taken for what they are, they are not so bad. If you don't want to commit a subscription for a P2P games or are in between MMO's and waiting for the next big one to come out, you have a good source of free fun.  It's just resisting the Siren's call of the Cash Shop and not getting caught up in game politics about who's the best and where you stand among all that.  I have seen more people that were having no problems in this game go right to maxing out their credit cards as soon as they get a look at the ranks page or they spend time on the forums.  Nine times out of 10 spending any significant amoutn of money leads to disaster in these games as there is no linit on what you can spend monthly(despite having a cap on paypal and CC purchases they always advertise their  cards which are sold in more and more stores) and when there is a problem which in many cases with these games there is, the customer service is among the worst ever for any company sometimes taking 1-3 months to get resolved if at all. 

I never had a problem with these games being here, but I sometimes wonder if MMORPG is taking some kickbacks from these game companies now. I have noticed in the last couple months, games that would normally have never been allowed anywhere except the ad pages are now getting feature stories that are displayed on the front page.  I wonder if this is some new trend by MMORPG to start embracing more of these games after they were "surprised" by Atlantica or if something else is going on.

As stated before though, even though the overhead is very low and the profits ratio is great, at some point there will be oversaturation to the point where most of these games will either disappear or end up in the hands of other publishers until a core group remains. 

 

 

Tue Apr 14 2009 1:36AM Report
Vyeth writes:

You take them for what they are and nothing more.. Most of the time not even the companies who make these B grade games take themselves seriously. Alot of them are projects made by students in some sort of game design program.

I usually try the ones that have some kind of feature (Atlantica Online) or customization level (Perfect World International) that is new or unusual for F2P games.. To be honest, while P2P games are seen as being vastly "superior" in their nature, I have found that while many F2P games lack the polish needed to attract gamers, they do have some MMO dynamics and "common sense" down to a science..

For instance, in almost every F2P mmo, there are ways to PVP on any server, not just so called "hardcore" open pvp servers.  And also in F2P RvR games they are always sure to use 3 factions and true "mirror-like" classes (which aren't very unique, but make balancing a peice of cake) instead of the clumsy 2 that Warhammer Online used which created all sorts of balance issues.

Tue Apr 14 2009 11:15AM Report
Player_420 writes:

Foolish blog post, nothing wrong with new games on the market

Tue Apr 14 2009 4:41PM Report
Feydrautha writes:

I agree. These games are all clones of eachother. If you play 1 or 2 you've played them all. Just look how they're set up, how the controls work, etc. They may vary, but they all hold 1 thing in common: They are "FREE TO PLAY ONLINE" yet you can't get anywhere without logging hundreds of hours mindlessly grinding -OR- spending real life cash on an item mall. WarHammer, EverQuest, WarCraft, Eve, Aion... these games will cost you (after initial purchase) no more than 20 dollars a month. My girlfriend plays an Asian game with a cash shop and she drops 50 bucks a WEEK on that crap. Part of the reason I'm moving out - we are now behind on all our bills.

Even when weak, the American dollar is very powerful in Asian countries. These game are all produced by sister developers under 1 or 2 umbrella companies, working away in programming sweatshops to rake in as much US currency as possible to fund the Chinese/Korean communist engine.

Instead of gold farmers grinding away in "gaming workshops" under 1 or 2 bosses, there are no dozens and dozens of "item mall workshops", each under 1 or 2 bosses but conglomerated together to those big sister companies, giving crap customer service and brainstorming new shit pixels to sell Americans and Canadians.

Not to be racist, but Brazilians and Asians are the worst things to happen to MMO's, period.

Sat Jan 09 2010 1:53AM Report

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